New Braunfels – Texas

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New Braunfels is a resort town in the Texas Hill Country.- U.S.A.

Understand : New Braunfels is usually considered a vacation destination. While it has no university of its own, it has a distinct college town feel, probably due to the huge numbers of students from universities in nearby San Antonio and San Marcos. As the name implies, it has a German heritage, and many of the local attractions capitalize on this. Most of the town’s revenue comes from tourism drawn by the incredible rivers, including the Comal River, which is the world’s shortest, entirely located within the city limits. New Braunfels is also the home of several other smaller “towns” within the city. One of these “towns” is Gruene, TX, home of the Gristmill Restaurant and Gruene Hall.

Access : Coordinates:29.7, -98.116667 / New Braunfels is situated on IH-35 at SH-46, near the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. Access to New Braunfels is accessible via private plane charter, highway access, and the Greyhound Bus Line. Airport shuttles from Austin and San Antonio are available. From San Antonio, head north on IH-35 about half an hour (30 miles) until you reach the SH-46 exit. From Austin, head south on IH-35 for about an hour (60 miles), past San Marcos, and exit SH-46. From Houston, head west on IH-10 about two and a half hours (150 miles), exit SH-46, and head north for about 15 minutes (14 miles more).

Get around : By car :
Personal vehicle travel is the only effective motorized transportation in town. Print, download, or buy a local map and brave the roads. Traffic during summer weekends is very heavy. Prince Solms Park often has free parking after the for-pay lot is full. Parking costs $5-$10 depending on location. Many tube rental shops offer free parking all day with rental.

By bicycle
With heavy traffic and crowded roads, bicycle and foot are appealing travel options. There are a few bicycle rental shops in town. Remember that bicycles are considered vehicles in the eyes of law enforcement, so obey all traffic laws.

Highlights :

  • Rivers : The Comal and Guadalupe rivers offer beautiful sights.
  • Gruene :  A historic district. Visiting this little “town” situated along the Guadalupe River is like stepping back in time. Antique shops, restaurants, and niche retail stores make for unique shopping.
  • Gruene Hall  :  The oldest continually operated dance hall in Texas.
    Lone Star Music. A Texas Music retail store which was started on the Internet by award winning entrepreneur Chad Raney and grew into a bricks and mortar retail location.

Activities : Water Parks :
1 Schlitterbahn. Consistently called the best waterpark in the world. Complete with four parks, and the highest rated water ride in the country, this waterpark is an ideal tourist spot. See web site for various ticket prices, reserve rooms early to ensure availability.
Tubing
This seems to be what the Comal river was created for. People rent an innertube, hop in the water, and float a few miles down the river. The services of a tubing shuttle are often employed to get from the end back to the insertion point, but because of loops in the river it’s a very short walk. Note a recent ordinance prohibits carrying coolers with a capacity over 16 quarts on the river in city limits, and consumption or carrying an open container of an alcoholic drink in city parks.

City Tube Rental, Liberty Ave. (Liberty, between Common and South). Run by the city of New Braunfels. Tube rental also has a $10 deposit, returned when you return the tubes – you are asked to write your name on the receipt, which is kept on file for the day, and your deposit is returned when you provide the rented tubes and name on the receipt. Parking: $7/vehicle, Admission: $5 (not required for tubing), Shuttle: $10/trip, Tube rental: $7 (plus $10 deposit).
Felger’s Tube Rental, Liberty Ave. (Liberty, between Common and South). Offers tubes, shuttles, and parking.
Festivals and Fairs
New Braunfels Folkfest, 1370 Church Hill Dr. Folkfest is an annual Family Heritage festival celebrating the German/Anglo/Spanish heritage of New Braunfels. Most activities take place at the Heritage Village, but there is a costumed children’s parade (the Kindermaskenball Parade) that takes place in Downtown New Braunfels. This is generally held the second week of April, but check the website for more details
Comal County Fair, Fair Park – Common Street and the Guadalupe River. The Comal County Fair is one of the largest county fairs in Texas and is generally held the last week of September. The Friday during the Fair is a local holiday with a downtown parade and other activities Generally $3 for Adults, Children free.
Wurstfest, toll-free: German for “sausage festival”, is held for ten days, beginning the Friday before the first Monday in November. Concessions are found throughout the grounds. Activities celebrating the German heritage take place throughout New Braunfels during Wurstfest (Heritage Exhibit) Admission: $8/person.
Hiking
Landa Park. A large park along the Comal river. It has lots of trails and open spaces, but is not very secluded. Landa Park also has new and improved playground equipment! edit
Panther Canyon Nature Trail, Near 350 Aquatic Circle (in Landa Park). Panther Canyon Nature Trail is a 51 acre wilderness area at the western edge of Landa Park that is excellent for hiking, geocaching, etc.
Fair Park, Common Street @ the Guadalupe River. On the Gaudalupe. This park also serves as auxiliary parking for Schlitterbahn during the summer months.
Cypress Bend Park. On the Guadalupe
Tours
Natural Bridge Caverns, 26495 Natural Bridge Cavern Rd. Series of underground caverns west of New Braunfels. From $9.95 to $99.95.

Go next : San Antonio / San Marcos – 18 miles northeast of New Braunfels / Austin is the capital of Texas, has endless quirks and is definitely worth a visit.

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